Topic 4: Reflection

Having pulled out all the stops for Topic 4 through my use of; Canva, Storyboard That, a Poll and Haiku Deck I was somewhat (optimistically) convinced I had explored almost all avenues of the ethical issues raised through using social media in education. However, I was astonished upon reading my colleagues work to realise I had merely scraped the surface!

Firstly, Carolina’s comment highlighted the issue of the boundaries between students and teachers on social media with regard the use of Facebook messenger as a means of communication when a student may feel uncomfortable discussing an issue face-to-face. In my subsequent reply, I suggested the use of email as a more appropriate means of online communication, a point supported by Wei Beh who in her blog post suggests the use of Facebook messenger “blurs the boundaries between personal and professional life”.

Furthermore, from my comment on Raziya’s blog post, I could come to the decision that such issue could be laid out in ‘social media’ guidelines which I once thought would be impossible to implement. A point which is also supported by Wei Beh in her blog post and influenced my change of heart.

My further comment on Rachel’s blog post offers further support for this decision, suggesting it is the teachers or companies responsibility to outline such guidelines to prevent unprofessional and inappropriate communication between students and teachers.

Finally, through reading the work of Wei Beh suggesting people may feel too self-conscious to share information on social media; supporting David Alderman’s point that “social media behaves as a tool for Mass Indiscriminate surveillance” and Festinger Comparison Theory brought to my attention by Eloaneo Rocha Semedo blog post, I solidified my conclusion made in Topic 3 that it is not ethical nor possible to keep your personal and professional life separate, evident through Nicholas Fairs ability to respond to a tweet from my professional Twitter account on my personal Twitter handle;


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I feel a point made by Sharon Burgin in her blog post: “we could still end up on someone’s radar” neatly encapsulates my conclusion.






Internet safety rules

As discussed in Topic 1 the use of the Internet in everyday life is becoming increasingly prevalent thus it was arguably only a matter of time before social media became a part of education (Lauby, 2012).

The infographic I have created below using Canva neatly encapsulates these rather pervasive statistics.

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#UOSM2008 is a prime example of how social media offers innovative learning both online and in the classroom (Henderson, Auld and Johnson, 2014) and in recent years the increasing use of social media has allowed teachers to deliver the somewhat ‘dull’ national curriculum in more exciting ways that engage those born after the digital immersion (The General Teaching Council for Scotland, 2001; Lawson, 2010). However, while many schools and companies are using ‘eLearning’ and social media to enhance their students and employee’s performance, such as; the Development Zone and Twitter, much like the concerns around separate personal and professional online identities discussed in Topic 2 and 3 there are a number of ethical issues raised by educational use of social media.

From a personal perspective I can testify to the many benefits afforded to education through the use of social media. However, I am also familiarised the many drawback it presents.

The Storyboard I have created below using Storyboard That illustrates just some of these issues. I have also Tweeted my storyboard with #ELHChallenge in an attempt to raise more awareness of these issues.

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For myself – an inspiring young teacher. The most pressing ethical issue raised by the use of social media is the boundaries between the personal and professional relationships formed by students and teachers on social networking platforms such as befriending your students or teachers on Facebook (Laliberte, 2017). According to a survey by the NASWUT union one in five teachers have been subjected to abuse by their students on social media (NASUWT, 2016; Adams, 2014).

Furthermore, the case of Elizabeth Scarlett highlights the potential consequences that the misuse use of social media can have on your career. However, in mild cases I would argue that the use of social media does not warrant such extreme punishment. This is illustrated in the case of Katie Nash who was fired following alleged ‘banter’ with one of her pupils on Twitter.

I have created a poll as I do not think it was fair to fire Katie in these circumstances however maybe I’m too liberal and I would love to see your views.

I certainly know Mike Stuchbery does not share the same view as me (BBC, 20141).

In order to combat this rather pervasive issue ‘a code of conduct or legislation is needed’ (Association for Learning Technology, 2014; BBC, 20142). Having done PowToon and Prezi to death I have decided to create a Haiku Deck presentation highlighting some of the existing guidelines.

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While there are a number of published guidelines readily disposable to students and teachers we cannot expect everyone to follow them due to the many different ethics and morals instilled within individuals. A prime example of this is the Katie Nash case in which it was alleged she did not feel guilty for her tweet.

Word count: 400


Adams, R. (2014) ‘One in five teachers abused online by parents and pupils, survey says’, The Guardian, 21 April. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Association for Learning Technology. (2014) Social media in education: ethical concerns. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

BBC. (20141) Banter ban Norfolk teacher Mike Stuchbery leaves Lynn Grove High School. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

BBC. (20142) Teachers need ‘clearer’ social networking rules, union say. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Henderson, M., Auld, G. and Johnson, N.F. (2014) Ethics of Teaching with Social Media. Paper presented at the Australian Computers in Education Confrence 2014, Adelaids, SA.

Laliberte, R. (2017) Is Social Media Causing Innappropriate Teacher-Student Relationships? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Lauby, S. (2012) Ethics and Social Media: Where Should You Draw The Line? Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Lawson, (2010) Ethics and Technology Use in Education. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

NASUWT. (2016) Social media abuse endemic in schools. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

Oxford University Press. (2017) e-learning. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).

The General Teaching Council for Scotland. (2001) Professional Guidance on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Available at: (Accessed: 26 March 2017).